Wednesday, September 21, 2005

(reality) T.V.

I’m going to tell you right off- I don’t love reality shows. To be fair I like a few, and pretty much hate the rest. This is about the time of year where the crappy shows exchange places with other crappy shows. And even more crappy shows see the light of day for the first time, and other crappy shows get to continue on life support for another year. Some of those include reality shows. Now- as I may have mentioned- I don’t like most of them. For the most part they are exploitive, trite, and scripted or edited to cater to a producers whim. A few have better producers or involvement from genuine entertainers that tend to keep things going in a good direction. The rest aren’t so lucky. To even call them "reality" is an insult to our collective intelligence. They will give anyone a T.V. show. Even the Reverand Al. Do you really want to watch that? What follows is my take on some of the current crop.

American Idol: Who likes watching a bug die a slow, squirmy death? Sadistic people, that’s who. If you watch this show, you’re a dying bug watcher. How many superstars has this thing delivered? Zero. How many annoying and unenduring pop singers has it delivered? Several. How many losers? Too many to count. I mean really, if the best you can brag about is Clay Aiken, some blonde girl who makes a Kit Kat commercial, and William Hung- well, I think it may be time to pull the plug.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: I guess five gay guys could help you out with the ladies. But do you want them to? I guess it's a quality of life issue. And the fact that "you are such a loser that 5 gay guys had to help you out with a women" is pretty bad. And that, my friends, is a direct quote from my gay friend.
The Bachelor: Hate it.
Biggest Loser: Loser says what?
Apprentice: You can only make fun of the Donald for so long, before you start to think, "Didn’t we do this in the 80s? Why are we doing this again? Anyone want some pizza?" - OK, I added the last part- but ever since I saw the Trump Domino's commercial, I think about pizza when I see that hair. And Martha? Well, let’s just say, it’s encouraging to see a convicted felon become a useful member of society. I hope Martha can find one to follow as an example.

Super/911/mega-nanny/wife/trading spouses: OK, people - here’s a tip. If you’ve got horribly behaved kids and you fight with your spouse about everything, your next move shouldn’t be: "Hey, let’s go on national television and let everyone see what horrible parents we are and what a charade our suburban lifestyle is. We'll bring in someone with a British accent to expose our faults and remind us that being indulgent, seeking after wealth, and scheduling every activity under the sun so we don’t actually have to spend time together are bad things and will destroy our family. The British are so smart." As Napoleon Dynamite would say : "Gah!" Hey people- go to church or something, get counseling, spend time together- it just might work. Just don’t do it in front of the rest of us.
Extreme Makeover/Plastic surgery stuff: Um, do I really have to answer, or can you figure it out?
Survivor- Unwatchable. I know I am incurring the wrath of untold millions, but the stuff is pretty much tripe. I don’t really care. The reality show I would watch- Unsurvivor. Take some lawyers and politicians and drop them off in the jungle or on a deserted island and then leave. Don’t come back. The one who makes it back without filing a lawsuit or encouraging new public policy is the winner. What does s/he get? A different job.
Extreme Makeover Home edition: OK- kinda torn- I think that they get a little too sappy for good TV's sake, but I think they are helping some families who need it. Can’t slam 'em, sorry. I watch with the wife every once in while. P.S.- Ty? A little help over here?

Big Brother: OK, confession time. I watch. I like it most of the time. When they put these egos in a house, it gets very interesting. From a social experiment angle, it confirms a lot of what I think about how people respond and act towards each other in certain situations. What is great is if you watch or keep track of the live feeds on the net, it is a very different show than what the editors give us, which pretty much sums up all my pet peeves with reality shows. At least with this one we get to see or check out the raw events and interactions as they happen. This year’s winner, as in years past, totally did not deserve it. She coasted in on everyone else’s coat tails and let them take the fall for her. She was also the villain that the editors did not portray her to be. This is the show I love to hate and hate to love.
Rock Star INXS- guilty pleasure. Hey, I’m an INXS fan- I’m invested. The guy they picked last night is a bit of a jerk, but he’s very talented, he has humbled quite a bit over the course of the show, and he looks right performing with the rest of the band. Tim, Kirk, and the guys have been missing Michael Hutchance and his vibe. I think J.D. has a bit of that Hutchance vibe. They debuted a new song last night "Easy Easy." They looked good up there, and the song was great. Good luck, guys. We’ve missed you.

The Amazing Race: Alright, this is the one I love. I don’t really care what you think- it is pretty darn competitive, and it tends to bring out the best and worst in people. If you have never been to a foreign country, its hard to understand that once you get away from touristy places, it can be tough going if you don’t know the culture and the language. On the show we also get to learn about such unfamiliar things like, history, geography, and cultures. You know- the stuff they don't teach in school anymore? All the while, teams are competing in everything from extreme sports to regional and culture-specific rituals. And the host Phil Keoghan, is a cool cat. He travels to all the same places. Many times over. He’s got common sense and seems to be very intelligent. He also doesn’t cotton to nonsense from the teams. He has called them out on stuff before- and you know he’ll straighten them out again if he has to- he’s just nice about it. The Amazing Race- Family edition starts next Tuesday, Sept. 27. Watch it.
Any others that I didn’t mention: they suck.

You know what? TV can be entertaining, it can also be educational. I like some TV. It’s not all bad, if you keep it in perspective. Like with the news, reality TV and other shows need to be taken for what they are, not as the end all, be all. All things are to be enjoyed in moderation, folks. Don’t just sit there and flip around the idiot box complaining that nothing is on. At least put on a good movie, for pete’s sake. Read a book. Play with your kids. Spend some time with your significant other. Work in the yard. Help a friend or a neighbor. It’s your time. It’s only as valuable as the worth you give it. Besides, do you really want a Rev. Al reality/talk show? All because you were too lazy to turn the TV off and find something else to do. The networks will think we want all this crap. Do you really want to carry the blame for that? I didn't think so.

Quote me as saying I was misquoted.

the customers go for it - it's so old, it's new. we got the television too. we run movies. what can I offer you?


Anonymous said...

I agree on every comment except the
one about Clay Aiken. He has a
true talent and deserves recognition for it.

Anonymous said...

Clay Aiken is a hack- Kelly Clarkson is da girlz!


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